Originally accessed:
American Memory Project, Library of Congress
The film is a 47 second view of a portion of the Hotel Vendome, produced by the Thomas A. Edison, Incorpoated, 10/25/1897; "This brief film shows an excursion party passing in the carriage drive of the Vendome Hotel, a major resort hotel in San Jose, south of San Francisco. The exact date of the film is unknown, but may be in October 1897. The camera faces north-northwest in the carriage drive, toward the main (east) entrance of the hotel. Two excursion stages, a surrey, and three small carriages circle past the camera with passengers waving, while other guests wave from the hotel steps. The light indicates an afternoon setting, which suggests a short trip to "take the waters" at nearby Alum Rock Springs, Azule Springs, or Congress Springs. Another possibility is an overnight trip to the James Lick Observatory on nearby Mount Hamilton to view the heavens through the 36-inch telescope. The Vendome Hotel was built in 1888 by public subscription for $500,000 to accommodate the expanding convention business of San Jose, a growing town set among orchards and farmland (now larger than San Francisco). Located on North First Street between Hobson and Hawthorne streets (on the 11-acre estate of former Mayor Joseph Belden), the hotel was a few blocks north of the center of town. Over the decade following its 1889 opening, the hotel increasingly became a first-class resort frequented by San Francisco and Bay Area society. Facilities included a ballroom, swimming pools, tennis courts, and stables. An annex added in 1903 was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. In 1930 the Vendome was demolished and replaced by custom-built homes."